11 National and International Telephone Numbers Everyone in The UK Should Know
1: 123 (Speaking Clock)
Ninety-one years ago, BT launched their speaking clock service.
Most modern phones display the time. But, if your screen’s broken, and you desperately need to know the time, just dial 123 and voila – a robotic voice will tell you the exact time.
Just remember, the talking clock service isn’t free. In fact, it costs a minimum of 39p per minute depending on your provider.
2: 141/1470 (Withhold/Provide Identity)
As every prank caller knows, dialling 141 before making a call will withhold your identity on a call-by-call basis. This means your number will be displayed as “unknown” to the person you call, even if they dial 1471.
If you’ve chosen to permanently withhold your identity, dialling 1470 will allow whoever you’re calling to see your number on a call-by-call basis.
3: 1471 (Reveal Identity of Last Caller – Only Available on Some Networks)
As everyone who’s received a prank call knows, dialling 1471 will tell you the number of the last person who called (unless they’ve chosen to withhold it). If you dial 3 while on the line to 1471 you will place a call to the last number that phoned you.
4: 999 (Emergency Number)
The world’s oldest emergency telephone number, 999 was first introduced in London in 1937. Dialling 999 will take you through to one of the following emergency control centres: police, ambulance, fire or coastguard.
Additional services can also be reached via the number. These include: lifeboat, mountain rescue, lowland rescue, cave rescue, moorland search and rescue, quicksand search and rescue, mine rescue and bomb disposal.
If you have a speech or hearing impediment, you can sign up to the emergencySMS service. To do this, text “register” to 999 and follow the instructions.
5: 999 + 55 (Silent Solution)
In certain situations, a 999 call will be required, but the caller may not be able to speak – perhaps because doing so will put either themselves or someone else in danger. But staying silent on a 999 call does not mean someone will not come to your aid.
Unfortunately, 999 responders will not automatically respond to a silent call. To make it clear you need assistance when talking could worsen the situation, you need to enter 55 when prompted which will route the call to the police.
6: 101 (Police Non-Emergency Number)
101 is the national non-emergency police phone number. You can use 101 when you need the police but not an emergency response. As such, use 101 if you’ve had a minor traffic accident, for vandalised property, if your car has been stolen, if you suspect someone of drug dealing, if you’ve witnessed a crime, if you’ve seen a missing person or if you want to speak to a local officer.
Calls to 101 cost 15p per call.
7: 111 (NHS 24/7 Service)
NHS 111 is a free to call number for people with an urgent but not emergency health issue. The service puts callers in touch with a fully-trained adviser who can give self-care advice, connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or GP, book an appointment, send an ambulance and direct you to other resources.
8: 116 123 (Samaritans)
Samaritans offer a safe place to talk any time you like, on your own terms. The service was founded in 1953 in London by a vicar called Chad Varah who wanted to help people in distress but who had nowhere else to turn. More than 20,000 people volunteered for the Samaritans in 2017, and a call is made to the service every six seconds.
Calls placed to the Samaritans are not shown on phone bills.
9: 0800 1111 (Childline)
Childline is a free, private and confidential service for children in distress. Aimed at anyone under the age of 19, Childline offers a counselling service that is non-judgemental, isn’t easily surprised, gives children time, understands the issues kids face today and is open and friendly.
Calls placed to the Childline are not shown on phone bills.
10: 0800 111 999 (Gas Emergency)
Operated by SGN, the gas emergency number is a toll-free number for people who smell gas or are worried about a gas emergency. The SGN agent will ask a series of questions to ascertain the severity of the situation, before offering advice and sending help when it is required.
11: 112 (Global Emergency Number)
Different countries have different emergency numbers. This can be an issue for frequent travellers or those travelling through multiple countries. Luckily, so long as you’re travelling in one of the 127 countries which use it, you only need to remember one: 112. Handy!